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Was Aiyaary's certification delay connected to the Adarsh scam?


Some reports suggested that Neeraj Pandey's military espionage caper touches upon the infamous 2010 corruption scandal, but a source from the film's unit rubbished this.

Mayur Lookhar

The release of Neeraj Pandey's Aiyaary, which was initially scheduled for 25 January, had to be postponed a second time after the film was made to wait for its censor certificate.

Since the film's story revolves around the army, the defence ministry had to clear it. The ministry reportedly had a few reservations and after some senior officials saw the film they requested some modifications.

Co-producer Jayantilal Gada had earlier told Cinestaan.com that four or five scenes were a matter of slight concern and the filmmakers were happy to make the minor alterations required.

Aiyaary gets the censor certificate at last; film certified U/A

Now a report in the Deccan Chronicle newspaper has claimed that the ministry's reservation stemmed from the fact the film also touches upon the infamous Adarsh scam, which involved defence ministry land in Mumbai.

Apparently the character played by veteran actor Vikram Gokhale is said to be loosely based on General VK Singh, who was chief of army staff when the scam broke out, and this led to the speculation about Adarsh being the reason for the ministry's disquiet.

Efforts to reach director Neeraj Pandey, Gokhale or others associated with the film proved futile. But a source close to the film's unit rubbished the Adarsh theory.

"The Adarsh scam is a very small issue when you campare it with the kind of corruption this country has seen," the source said. "To the best of my knowledge, there is no mention of the scam in the film. Aiyaary taps into corruption in the purchase of trucks and it also tackles the issue of drugs."

The Adarsh Society scam was unearthed in 2010, when a housing property sanctioned for the family of soldiers who had died in the Kargil conflict in 1999, was allegedly grabbed by bureaucrats, politicians and senior army officers. Then Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan was implicated in the scandal and had to resign. Two former army chiefs, Gen Deepak Kapoor and Gen NC VIj were also alleged to be beneficiaries of the scam.

With an ensemble cast of Sidharth Malhotra, Manoj Bajpayee, Anupam Kher, Naseeruddin Shah, Rakul Preet Singh, Kumud Mishra, Pooja Chopra, Adil Hussain and Gokhale, Aiyaary is finally set to be released on 16 February.